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Walk into Cafe Zoe on a Friday morning and you’re likely to find up to a dozen babies sitting on their mom’s lap – or tentatively getting to know each other. It’s all part of a larger group of about 30 Willows neighborhood moms with babies born in 2010.

“Our group sprung out of the larger Willows Mom email listserv,” said Rachel Sussman during a recent visit. “Someone asked a baby question and that sparked conversation among women who’d had babies in 2010.”

“One mom was on maternity leave and suggested the back patio at Cafe Zoe as the perfect meeting place,” added Vasey Hargreaves. “Cafe owner Kathleen Daly was – and is – so welcoming. We even get extra attention – Sean brings our drink orders to us as it’s hard to juggle baby and gear plus a beverage.”

Not surprisingly the main topic of conversation is about babies and living with babies. “Sleep is a big topic,” said Rachel. “Or lack of it,” piped in another mom.

All the moms agreed that the Willows neighborhood is really family friendly. “Most of us knew a couple of other moms before the group came together,” said Rachel. “We’d already met when we were out walking while pregnant or at the yoga studio [that used to be next door to Cafe Zoe].”

Some of the group’s moms have now returned to the workplace. They stay connected with each other and the stay-at-home moms at a monthly get together at nearby Willow Oaks Park. “This is great for us working moms,” said Brandy Bridges. “I imagine we’ll all be spending a lot more time at the park – with Zoe picnics, of course! – once the babies are up running about. We’re lucky to have two great neighborhood hangouts!”

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Hangouts: Peet’s

The conversation between two locals at last Wednesday’s concert in Fremont Park went something like this: “I’ll bet that Peet’s has been there for 40 years, no, maybe I’m giving  it 10 years.” ” Hmmm. I’m guesiing it opened in the late 70s – I think 30 years is more like it.” While InMenlo has […]

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Hangouts: Cafe Borrone

The consensus is universal: There’s no bigger hangout in all of Menlo Park than Cafe Borrone, which debuted in its current location on El Camino near the Menlo train station in the ’90s. For some like the Rev. Frannie Hall Kieschnick, associate rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Ravenswood, its the ideal place for […]

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Silent Reading Party in three locations on July 25

Bring a book and join the Menlo Park Library for a night of reading quietly in the company of others at one of three locations. Whether you want a kid-free, 21 and over night, (The Refuge – 1143 Crane St.), a fun family hangout (Cafe Borrone), or a teen escape from the parents (Main Library), […]

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Joseph Fuchs brings his art to Café Zoë for the 5th year in a row

Retired English teacher Joseph Fuchs is no longer trying to bring out the best in Menlo-Atherton High School students. Rather, he’s bringing the best out in himself as he continues with his artistic endeavors. As he has for the past five years, he is showing some of his newest paintings at Café Zoë for six […]

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Patio at Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar is an inviting place for a summer meal

Editor’s note: This is the first of a series spotlighting the special features of local restaurants that may not be widely known. If you think one of your favorite Menlo Park restaurants qualifies, please email us at tips[a] The Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar is tucked inside the Stanford Park Hotel on El Camino right at […]

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Cafe Zoë hosts Gingerbread House Decorating Competition on Dec. 15

Cafe Zoë owner Kathleen Daly let us know that the popular local hangout will be hosting is first ever Gingerbread House Decorating Competition on Thursday, Dec. 15th at 5:00 pm. The Rules: – Teams must sign up by Wednesday, December 14 – Sign up sheets are at the cafe, or, email us at [email protected] – […]

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Cafe Zoë hosts National Night Out event to support both community and law enforcement

Cafe Zoë, on the corner of Menalto and Gilbert, has long been a cherished Menlo Park hangout. Indeed, the cafe’s motto is “a place for peace, hope, and community.” For the past four years, along with neighboring businesses, Cafe Zoë has participated in an event known as National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of […]

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In honor of the Grateful Dead’s farewell concerts, a guide to Dead places in Menlo Park and Atherton

Editor’s note: In advance of their farewell tour appearance at Levi Stadium tonight and tomorrow night. We touched base with music chronicler — and Grateful Dead historian/expert — Corry Arnold to see if he had a list of places in Menlo Park that are part of Grateful Dead lore. And sure enough, he had that […]

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With author hat on, James Franco comes to Menlo Park to talk about his California childhood

James Franco has been described as a “polygamist of inventiveness” a label given to him by one reviewer of Franco’s latest book,  A California Childhood, which he came to Kepler’s in Menlo Park last night to promote in conversation with his mother, Betsy, an author of children’s books who has made numerous appearances at the bookstore […]

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Artist Chrisann Brennan describes her art as “light encoded paintings”

For whatever reason, painter Chrisann Brennan keeps returning to Menlo Park. “This has always been a base for me and I don’t really know why,” she said at a friend’s house where she’s staying. “New things start here for me. I always wanted to live more in Palo Alto but always find myself here in […]

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